This Week in the New Normal #78

Our successor to This Week in the Guardian, This Week in the New Normal is our weekly chart of the progress of autocracy, authoritarianism and economic restructuring around the world.

1. Introducing CBDCs is a matter of “urgency”

Talking to the media this week, the head of South Korea’s central bank claimed that the rise of “stablecoins” made the introduction of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) a matter of urgency.

Coindesk reports:

“This underscores the urgency for central banks to consider introducing central bank digital currencies (CBDC), whether retail or wholesale…Their widespread adoption could diminish the role of central bank money and impair the effectiveness of monetary policies.”

South Korea is already piloting a wholesale scheme and is planning a retail trial early next year.

In related news, Taiwan’s central bank announced they had completed their own wholesale CBDC technical study this week, while the Bank of Japan’s CBDC trial has moved into phase 2, but don’t worry it’s only going to store “minimal user data”.

Meanwhile, hot on the heels of the Bretton Woods Committee report from last month, the Bank of International Settlements published their report on “High-level technical requirements for a functional central bank digital currency (CBDC) architecture”.

2024 gonna be a fun year for CBDC watch.

2. New Variant hits just in time for Christmas

Have you guys heard of JN.1? It’s the new Covid strain – an evolution of “Pirola” – and it’s being “closely monitored” due to its “rapid spread”.

You know, just like all the other ones.

Yahoo News reports:

Scientists are closely monitoring JN.1, which has sparked some concern due to its rapid growth rate and large number of mutations. However, the new variant is closely related to a strain we’ve seen before. It’s a direct offshoot of BA.2.86, aka “Pirola,” which has been spreading in the U.S. since the summer.

Oh, and it has symptoms that include “Sore throat, Congestion, Runny nose, Cough, Fatigue, Headache, Muscle aches, Fever or chills”

You know, just like all the other ones (and the colds everyone has at this time of year every year for all of human history but never mind).

This is barely news and the hallmark of the narrative in hibernation, little updates and developments that do nothing but remind the public that “Covid” is a thing.

To quote Krusty the Klown: “Here’s a headline for ya, nobody cares!”

3. Tyranny Shouldn’t Discriminate

Writing in the Guardian, Sonia Sodha is bemoaning that the UK’s Television License laws “disproportionally impact women”.

According to the article, convictions for license fee evasion make up fully one-third of all female criminal convictions in the UK.

For those of you who are in slightly less dystopian nations, the Television License is a tax you pay in the UK for watching the BBC. Refusal to pay is not considered a civil debt, but a criminal offense. They have posters about it…

Yes, in the UK we are forced, under penalty of law, to pay for our own propaganda.

Yet apparently the only issue Sonia has with this nationwide brainwashing tax is that it’s sexist.

BONUS: Weird scandal of the week

Apparently, a Senate staffer was caught recording himself having sex with an anonymous young man in a conference room in the Capital building. There is a video, which I don’t want to embed, which was somehow obtained by The Daily Caller.

Now, I don’t doubt this stuff goes on – hell, this is tame I’m sure. Consensual sexual activity between consenting adults is hardly a real scandal, no matter how inappropriate the setting.

I just wonder what the point of the story is…maybe there isn’t one.

Oh, the staffer was fired. Obviously.

It’s not all bad…

It’s nearly Christmas, listen to some carols and relax…


All told a pretty hectic week for the new normal crowd, and we didn’t even mention the Canadian woman who applied to be euthanized due to “long covid” or Philadelphia’s city council banning ski masks in public places.

There’s a lot of change in the air, a lot of agendas in the works, if you see a headline, article, post or interview you think is a sign of the times, post it in the comments, email us or share it on social media and we will add it to the next edition.


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